Timothy Wayne Krajcir

ST. LOUIS – Timothy Wayne Krajcir was a serial rapist, murderer, and pedophile who targeted women for his heinous attacks. His victims’ ages ranged from 11 to 72 years old, and there appeared to be no consistent motive. His reign of terror lasted for approximately four decades. However, in 2007, DNA testing finally linked him to his crimes, leading to his apprehension.

On November 28, 1944, Timothy Wayne McBride was born to parents Charles McBride and Fern Yost. However, the family wouldn’t stay together for long. When McBride was about a year old, his father left. Yost raised her son as a single mother until she met Bernie Krajcir when Timothy McBride was around six years old.

Bernie Krajcir legally adopted his stepson, and Timothy took his last name. The boy’s criminal and deviant behavior began early. At the age of 10, Krajcir developed an unhealthy sexual and emotional obsession with his mother. At age 13, he became a peeping tom and exposed himself in public. He faced charges of petty theft at the age of 15 in Pennsylvania.

At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, in 1962 and underwent basic training in Great Lakes, Illinois. However, he would be dishonorably discharged after fourteen months of service due to a sexual assault arrest.

In 1963, at the age of 18, Krajcir married Barbara Jean Kos, who was pregnant at the time. That same year, he committed his first known rape, brutally attacking a woman in Waukegan, Illinois, using scissors. Over the following years, he continued his criminal acts with another rape in the North Chicago area.

Krajcir was sentenced to 25 to 50 years for the rapes and assaults but only served 13 years of his sentence. In May 1963, while in prison, his wife, Barbara, gave birth to their daughter Charlotte, she never met her father.

By 1965, he and Barbara had separated, and by 1969, he was transferred to Menard Correctional Facility. He later moved to Vienna Correctional Center in 1972, where he worked as an inmate emergency medical technician. He earned an associate degree from Shawnee Community College while in prison in 1974.

After his release from prison in 1976, Krajcir moved to Carbondale, Illinois, and began his education at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale. There, he earned a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice with a minor in psychology. With this degree, he found work as an ambulance driver with the Jackson County Ambulance Service. His crimes escalated from this point on, although he had not yet committed murder.

From serial rapist to serial killer: 

Mary and Brenda Parsh became the initial victims of Krajcir’s deadly acts. He took the lives of both the mother and daughter by shooting them after sexually assaulting them within their own family home. 

According to the KFVS12-TV article, in less than 12 hours after the Parsh murders, Krajcir appeared among other attendees at a wedding celebration for a fellow EMT employee. He can be seen in the article smiling at co-worker Valerie Scott. Scott had worked with Krajcir at the Jackson County Ambulance Service between 1976 and 1979.

Angel Ambrose is a victim of Krajcir’s abuse who survived his encounters. She provides details about what Krajcir did to her. She was 11-year-old when he attacked her between 1977 and 1979. Krajcir committed acts of rape and murder, including killing Sheila Cole—a 21-year-old student at Southeast Missouri State University—and Virginia Witte of Marion, Illinois.

Krajcir was eventually arrested for the molestation of Ambrose, but his EMT friends believed him when he claimed to be innocent. They bailed him out of jail, and while he was out, he struck again.

Krajcir ended the lives of Joyce Tharpe from Paducah, Kentucky, Myrtle Rupp from South Temple, Pennsylvania, and Ida White of Mount Vernon, Illinois. He unintentionally involved Grover Thomson, who was sleeping in the Mount Vernon, Illinois, Post Office. Thompson was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The wrong place at the wrong time

Grover Thompson. Photo from: Illinois Department of Corrections.
An Illinois man wrongly convicted receives a rare posthumous pardon.

72-year-old Ida White, who lived in an apartment building across the street from the Mount Vernon, Illinois, post office, was getting ready to shower when a man entered her bathroom unannounced.

White entered the bathroom, pulled back the shower curtain, and the assailant repeatedly stabbed her.

A neighbor, Barney Bates, heard her screams and pushed open the door connecting his apartment with hers. Bates mentioned that the assailant escaped through the bathroom window, a maneuver that would have required jumping onto the toilet and out of a window situated five feet above.

Bates described the perpetrator as a black male with a rough face and facial hair. Unfortunately for Thompson, the Mount Vernon police quickly focused their attention on him, whom they discovered sleeping in the post office shortly after the attack.

Bates was brought to the police station for a lineup after the police told him they had a suspect. Even though Thompson was the only person in the group, it still took Bates 15 minutes to be sure who he was.

Thompson was wrongfully convicted of attempted murder, even though there was no physical proof linking him to the crime, his clothes didn’t match the description of the attacker, and he had a broken leg. This led to a 40-year prison term, and he died in jail in 1996.

Thompson was granted executive clemency on July 14, 2019.

More murders

In Cape Girardeau, Krajcir made his first visit to the Carter residence on Middle Street. He visited the Carter house twice because Krajcir was stalking Marcia Carter’s younger sister. Instead, he ended up assaulting their mother and then returned over a month later to attack Marcia. He admits in this documentary that he did not recognize Carter’s residence.

After the second attack at the Carter house, Krajcir murdered Margie Call from Cape Girardeau before leaving the state and heading to Illinois.

Krajcir raped and choked Deborah Sheppard, a 23-year-old woman in Carbondale, Illinois. Ultimately, DNA evidence in Sheppard’s case revealed Krajcir as her killer. This revelation came a quarter of a century after her death.

Following Sheppard’s murder, Krajcir returned to Cape Girardeau and attacked and killed Mildred Wallace.

Timeline of known murder victims: 

  • August 12th, 1977: Mary Parsh, 58, and Brenda Parsh, 27, from their Cape Girardeau, Missouri home. 
  • November 17th, 1977: Sheila Cole, 21, in a roadside bathroom stall on Illinois Highway 3 near McClure, Illinois. 
  • May 12th, 1978: Virginia Lee Witte, 51, found in her Marion, Illinois home. 
  • March 23rd, 1979: Joyce Tharp, 29, found behind a church in Paducah, Kentucky. 
  • April 17th, 1979: Myrtle Rupp, 51, found in her Muhlenberg Township, Pennsylvania home. 
  • September 7th, 1981: Ida White, 72, found in her Mount Vernon, Illinois home. 
  • September 7th, 1981: Grover Thompson, who was wrongfully convicted in place of Krajcir.
  • January 27th, 1982: Margie Call, 57, found in her Cape Girardeau, Missouri home. 
  • April 8th, 1982: Deborah Sheppard, 23, in a Carbondale, Illinois apartment. 
  • June 21st, 1982: Mildred Wallace, 65, found in her Cape Girardeau home. 

Catching a Killer:

Authorities eventually started connecting the dots regarding Krajcir’s crimes. DNA played a crucial role in apprehending Krajcir.

Krajcir was arrested when he was discovered in a parking lot with a gun. Due to his status as a convicted felon, he was prohibited from possessing firearms. He was convicted in Allenton, Pennsylvania.

Krajcir remained incarcerated for several years, remaining silent about the murders and in 2007, DNA testing helped identify him as a killer.

DNA evidence linked him to Debrah Sherwood’s death, but Krajcir refused to confess. Authorities then asked him about other deaths he seemed to be connected to, but he remained silent. He changed his mind when he was offered a deal that would let him avoid the death penalty.

He finally gave in to the pressure and admitted to nine counts of murder, pleading guilty. At the Pontiac Correctional Center, Krajcir is serving 13 life terms in a row.